Hello Everyone and welcome to Honey’s Anime’s interview with Bisco Hatori. For those who don’t know who Bisco Hatori is, she is the creator of Ouran Highschool Host Club and is also the influencer for many similar works today, which ended up indirectly giving birth to a new genre of manga and anime, Fujoshi!
This was Hatori-san’s first time coming to America let alone Anime Expo. While she may have seemed shy and reserved, after greeting her and getting ready for our interview, she slowly felt comfortable and began to ease her mind. It is a great pleasure that VIZ Media was able to invite Hatori-san to AX 2019 which she kindly accepted. This interview would not have been possible if it weren’t for them so we definitely have to give credit where it is due. For those who aren’t familiar with VIZ Media, they are an American licensing and distribution company that’s been around since 1989, bringing fans many titles of manga and anime overseas like One-Punch Man, Sailor Moon, My Hero Academia, and many, many more.
Hatori-san is a wonderful human being so being able to interview her for the first in America is beyond a privilege. What we’ll be covering here is not only the one-on-one interview we had with Hatori-san but also the Bisco Hatori panel at AX 2019 where Hatori-san also made a special appearance for fans! First, let’s get started with the interview and then we’ll delve into the Bisco Hatori panel to finish things off.
Hello Hatori-san, how are you? We first wanted to say that it is a great pleasure to have you with us and that it is wonderful you are able to take the time to meet with us.
From your first work, Millennium Snow to Behind the Scenes!!, what was the one project you created that really resonated with you the most?
Did you originally decide to make Ouran a shojo manga from the start or did you take one route and it lead to another? This is because we felt like this could’ve taken the boy's love (BL) route as we can see some tropes of it in Ouran High School.
Ouran has been considered by some as the first example of a "fujoshi comedy" genre—comedy series with largely male casts that cater to shippers. How do you feel about possibly having created a whole new genre that still exists and thrives today?
How was it decided to make Haruhi a female protagonist with boyish charms?
When you’re drawing and designing bishounen characters including their personalities, what influences your creativity directly?
So for the character design of things, I think this is the first time I’ll be revealing this but Tamaki’s character design was inspired by Sailor Moon’s Uranus!! I was REALLY into Sailor Moon at the time. *chuckles*
Now that the Ouran manga has ended and the 20-year anniversary is approaching, do you think there’s a possibility of making a new Ouran Highschool Host Club anime that is true to the manga from beginning to end? We’re sure that fans new and old would love that.
I guess we’ll have to start a petition to make this happen!
Well, I believe that is our time with you. We really want to thank you so much for allowing us your precious time to interview you. We look forward to your future endeavors and hope you have a great show!
Bisco Hatori Panel
Well, that is it for the interview but there is plenty more to tell you about Hatori-san’s experience at AX 2019. VIZ hosted the panel and was giving out prizes throughout the panel as well. The main prize was a meet and greet tea party with Hatori-san! Other prizes during the panel included limited editions of manga and anime and autograph session tickets.
Other things that happened during the panel was VIZ bringing out their guest, Bisco Hatori, and when she came out, you better believe fans—including ourselves—were super excited when Hatori-san came out to join the other panelists. Shortly after, VIZ had their own set of questions for Hatori-san. Questions like, How Hatori-san like Anime Expo—which she heard American fans are intense (Perfect), to enjoying the artist alley and how local artists can have the joy of creating homages of their favorite characters from their favorite anime series.
VIZ also had folks from Shojo Beat showing off some of the art for Ouran Highschool Host Club. Shojo Beat is an imprint of VIZ Media bringing shojo manga content overseas for English speaking fans. As VIZ continues with their questions, Hatori-san answers with glee and excitement as fans paid close attention to her every word. Other questions were about revisiting other genres after Behind the Scenes!!. Hatori-san’s former editor was actually the one to introduce the idea of working on something different and after talking to a university girl who was really into zombies, she ended up convincing me to tackle the subject. She would love to go back to it as well since it is popular, especially in America which the crowd agreed with by cheering.
Further questions were about her current Shojo Beat series: Behind the Scenes!! and her older works like Millenium Snow coming overseas for fans. Questions were about Ouran being a parody of love and how her love for shojo manga is important to have around, what were her most important features she needed to include—Hatori-san wanted to show that no character is one-sided as they are more multi-faceted and as an example, Kyouya is the cool guy, but as the story progresses, we learn how intense he can be with his emotions.
When asked about what character traits she shares with the characters she created, she went on to say that Tamaki and her share more the intense side of their feelings for justice and with the twins, she’s been told she has a mischievous side like them, and with Kyouya, they share the darkness side. Lastly, Haruhi and Hatori-san share the absent-minded, whatever side of their personalities.
Honey’s Final Thoughts
The panel went on for about another 10 minutes with Hatori-san concluding the panel with a live drawing of Haruhi and her editor taking the helm with some questions about his experience in America and handling Hatori-san as well. The panel was a complete success and with it being Hatori-san’s first time in America, we sure hope she fell in love with us and that she will return to America with more updates on herself and her projects!
We can’t thank VIZ enough for bringing such an icon for us to experience and love all over again. We look forward to more from Bisco Hatori-san and VIZ Media as well. If you were unable to experience the joys of Anime Expo, make sure to plan your next trip there because you will have the time of your life! If you have any thoughts about this interview experience, please us know in the comments below. This was a blast to conduct for your all and we can’t wait until next time!